Each limited piece in the scarf collection is a testament to MccGwire’s artistic heritage, capturing the essence of cycles, patterns, and the duality of nature. With the inclusion of feathers and earthy tones, these scarves resonate with the artist’s Norfolk upbringing.
Scarves come in silk twill or cashmere and cost from £355 to £405 and are the perfect gift to oneself or an appreciator of art and nature, especially at this time of year.
This series launch coincides with the unveiling of a new work by MccGwire commissioned for 1 Hotel, Mayfair; TORRENT (2023) is a large installation situated in the Dover Yard Bar, where drinks include repurposed ingredients from the restaurant kitchen.
Walking into the stylish and modern lines of the penthouse apartment in the one hotel we were greeted by the welcoming and calm hospitality of the exhibition’s organisers.
Kate’s beautiful and distinctive feather designs were displayed elegantly on ethereal fabric, draped over rustic wooden frames and upon the table.
Some of her sculptures and pictures were tantalisingly nestled amongst the tasteful ornaments of the main room, eliciting comments and praise from those assembled.
Kate herself moved through the space, answered questions and greeted everyone with an easy charm and affable enthusiasm, infusing the showing with warmth that complimented the earthy autumnal colours of the scarves.
I found her pieces very fascinating and wanted to know more.
When deciding the shape of your feather arrangement, do you let the feathers dictate the direction or do you have more control over how they are presented/moulded so that you can accomplish such slick curves and twists?
I always start the process of making my sculptures and installations with a sketch, this gives me a sense of scale and space whilst allowing me to plan and map out the direction and details of each intricate twist and turn. In tandem with the sketching all of the feathers I work with are graded and sorted by their colour, size and the direction of their natural curve, this means that when it comes to applying the feathers, I can easily find the perfect feather to hug the coils and curves of the form and enhance the direction of the work, the feather and the piece work hand in hand to inform one another.
With this move into fashion, you mentioned that you wanted to make your work more accessible (bearing in mind that some of your pieces can cost thousands and rightly so), what type of person do you see wearing your scarves? Would you expect them to know your art already or are you trying to tap into a whole new market?
There is so much variety across the designs that I can easily picture the scarves being worn by a wide range of different people, I’m also hoping that the lower price tag (in comparison with a sculpture or framed work) will mean that people who have perhaps been loyally following my practice but previously felt that owning a piece was unattainable can now add a Kate MccGwire to their collection. From the elegant monochrome look of HOST, which might be more suited to someone who’s sense of style is a little darker and more minimal, to the opulent jewel tones and incredible lustre of CAVORT IRIS, which works beautifully when paired with a bold coat or some statement jewellery, but the pieces aren’t just for wearing they would work equally as well framed and hung on the wall like a more traditional piece.
Did you imagine when pursuing this new avenue that the scarves would turn out how they have? What were your reservations and how have they been overcome? Did Co-lab369 play a big part in helping with this?
One of my main requirements for this project was that the scarves had to be of a certain quality and finish, it was really important to me that the print quality on the scarves was phenomenal and that only exquisite fabrics were to be used that are a treat to touch and a joy to wear. Co-lab369 have sourced the most fantastic fabrics and the quality of the print is amazing.
What other items/medium would you consider printing your work onto and can we expect more from you in the fashion world soon?
We are exploring other things but you’ll have to wait and see!
You can read more about Kate and check out her art here.